dipolarismoment:

Now I’m thinking about Dreamer again, and I’m honestly confused – you’d think the writers would have more attachment to the character that, while originating  in the comics, was so unused that they got to name her. They made Sonya into an actual character! With a name! And a backstory! Only to kill her off like she couldn’t contribute anything.

Wow I’m late to this one. Sorry for not seeing it til now.

Yeah, you’d think they’d have even more reason to care, but apparently not. Guess they prioritize throwing away characters when they’ve “served their purpose” and/or permanently abandoning all of a character’s potential to get Skyler on the show over caring enough to do character death in any kind of good way.

Dreamer was garbage, she added nothing that other characters couldn’t replace. They should have killed her long before what they did.

Hi again.

What you’re really saying is that you were unable to see her value. You have options of trying to figure out her value, or accepting that some people see things you don’t. Instead, you’re opting to pretend your not managing to see a thing means that thing isn’t there.

This is an attitude I’ve seen before for other characters, including Polaris. It’s not any different from the guy online who, when I said Marvel needed to bring Polaris back from space, responded by saying she should be left in space and forgotten to “keep her away from characters that matter” (that’s not an exact quote, can’t remember exact, but it’s a general paraphrase).

You didn’t like her, you didn’t see the good in her, and that’s fine. You’re not required to like her or see her value. But I saw those things. I want them back, and if they were going to be taken away forever, then I wanted them to be put to bed in a respectful way that honored what was and could have been. That’s something I won’t budge on.

So me.

I like that Polaris has a live action version on Gifted. I like that, when I left off, she was being written very well on it. I had some things I didn’t like (pregnancy on first ep, prison happening too soon and missing full potential, etc), but I was able to set my dislikes aside for a variety of reasons. I like that the live action version of her is popular, as it shows her value.

But none of that changes how big of a problem the show’s handling of Dreamer’s death is for me.

I’m not someone that can turn a blind eye to things like that just cause my favorite character, in anything, is being treated great. It’s even worse cause I grew to really like Dreamer. But whether or not I have a deep personal interest in a character only means I’m more vocal.

I’ve never been a big fan of Edward in Final Fantasy IV and I still defend the character when people badmouth him as a worthless coward. In all honesty, Quicksilver is bottom of the “main four” of the Magnus family of my personal interest, but that didn’t stop me from calling out that he was depicted poorly in Secret Wars: House of M. That Lorna benefited from such a poor depiction didn’t change that it was wrong. 

I can’t let something that’s wrong have a pass just cause something I like has it made in that situation. I’m not one of those people. I’ve seen a lot of people let such things slide because they see good treatment as a competition where all other characters have to suffer for their favorite to stand on top, but I’m not one of those people.

If the shoe was on the other foot, Dreamer was the most popular character and Polaris got killed off the way Dreamer was, I would want to see fans of Dreamer do for Polaris what I’m doing now.

Not that I expect anyone else to think or feel or do things like me. I just wanted to lay out what my POV is. Why things are the way they are with me.

Dreamer’s death, support for her

It’s been a while since I properly said something about Dreamer’s death and how poorly The Gifted handled it, so I just really need to bring it back to the fore. I’m not dropping it.

Things have slowed because the show is out until Fall and its social media channels are practically dead. But my frustration and outrage are still very much alive, four months later.

Which is why I’m making this post of odds and ends of views people have expressed about her. Starting with a couple that are very recent.

And for the sake of full disclosure, the impetus of this is seeing one person out there who (not necessarily about Dreamer, just speaking generally) said they like how Gifted isn’t afraid to burn stories and concepts. This is to emphasize how even though as a general rule there’s some good in that, it was wrong in Dreamer’s case.

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These are the latest I found. User loved Dreamer, was her favorite, disappointed in her death.

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This is a general theme. These are not the only cases out there, though they’re the only ones that come up easily in the Twitter search I did (last being linked to via Twitter search).

I know for a fact there are a LOT more than just this because I found and posted them back when they were fresh.

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Again, Dreamer was a favorite for a lot of people. For some, she was the entire reason they watched. And reaction to her getting killed off, well…

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Aside from upsetting people, many want her brought back ASAP.

There are videos out there made as tributes to her, like this one published on March 24th by @anadearmas (post). People don’t make video tributes for “nobody characters” three months after they were killed off.

And if you look at the notes, you’ll see one reblog in there expressing frustration at how Dreamer was killed just to advance a romance between Thunderbird and Blink.

The view many have, and I’m sure it’s especially held by the people on the show who decided to give Dreamer such a disrespectful and poorly done death, is that Dreamer was a worthless extra. That she had no real value, that she could be killed off and nothing was lost.

But something was. Something really, really was lost when they decided to not only kill her off, but do so in the manner they did. It’s not just that they killed her off. It’s the way it happened. It’s the poor setup. The terrible framing. The execution so botched it didn’t look like they even put any thought or effort into it at all. They wanted to kill her, and making it happen was all that mattered to them.

Technically, you can say this post, these reactions, they’re all signs of good writing in that it got everyone to care this much about a character with so little comics history that she was effectively a new character made for the show.

But good writing isn’t just making you care about something. It’s also respecting the audience enough to not stab them in the back for caring. It’s recognizing they cared for a reason, they got invested for a reason, and rewarding that interest and care.

Which doesn’t have to mean “never kill the character.” It could mean kill them off with thought, and care, and respect. A character doesn’t have to live forever. They just need their value and impact acknowledged properly. Gifted failed to do that with Dreamer.

Some people have misunderstood my attitude regarding Dreamer’s death on Gifted, both how it happened and that it happened at all. It’s not surprising for some people to think of how I’ve taken it as an overreaction, but I’ve seen some who think I’m proclaiming Dreamer to be an incredibly important and popular character, as if she’s on par with Jean Grey or something.

I don’t have any delusions about Dreamer and how much or how little popularity she has. My remarks about how poorly the show handled it and the consequences aren’t from thinking she had popularity that could bring the show down, but from what it means in the overall scheme of things.

There are certain things that happen which are symbolic and serve as warning signs. People usually ignore them or don’t even notice they happened, but they exist all the same. They’re portents of things to come. Dreamer’s death is one such case.

Dreamer’s death was handled poorly. Okay, but “it was only one time” and “she was only a supporting character,” and “she wasn’t popular,” so brush it off. But then another character dies the same way. Maybe Shatter. Then another character dies the same way. Maybe Sage. Then another. And another. And another. Not just that they died, but that the script threw out all logic to force the characters into a situation where the death happens, and it only happens to advance the stories of all the other characters that remain.

These are all “unimportant” characters. They exist on the show solely to support the main cast, and they’re not popular. Right? If Dreamer’s death didn’t hurt the show much, surely they can just keep doing it and they’ll be fine.

Here’s the thing. A mistake doesn’t become better and accepted with repeats. It gets worse. The effect is magnified the more times it happens and the more it becomes a trend. There’s a reason people scoff at comic book deaths as generally cheap and empty even with Jean Grey dead for over a decade. It became a trend that people looked down on.

A lack of sufficient complaints and demands for the writers on Gifted to not do what they did to Dreamer again, or better yet to fix what they did, emboldens continuing to write character deaths – all of them – in the same manner. Let them keep at it and they become entrenched in that style. Then, when it comes to a head and people actually start complaining? It’s too late. The show’s reputation suffers, more and more people cut from the show because they feel no reason to get invested if characters are going to keep dying like that, and it’s hard to impossible to course correct by that point. Even if the writers want to.

Personal anecdote, and I haven’t looked around online so I don’t know the general perception of it: Heroes. My memory of the show, as seasons went on they started randomly killing off any interesting new characters they introduced. I don’t know about other people, but for me, I stopped watching the show somewhere around season 3 or 4 because of it. I especially remember the deaths of Daphne Millbrook and Adam Monroe as instigators in driving me from wanting to watch. I didn’t make a fuss online about it, I just simply stopped watching.

People deeply invested in the show are going to support it regardless of what it does, but that can change easily when something they’re personally invested in is thrown away in an insulting manner, and that’s not counting more casual viewers who are less beholden to sticking by the show.

I want Dreamer’s death undone on Gifted and for the show to never handle character death like that again. I want it for myself, of course. But what I want would also be good for the show. If the writers keep doing things the way they did, I am certain it will kill the show. It won’t be a matter of if, but when it reaches a breaking point.

Hi! I’m working on a post for my blog about romantic subplots and how love triangles tend to be resolved poorly, and one of the examples I was going to use was the terrible treatment of Sonya in the Gifted. Would you mind if I referred to your post about her? I’ll cite you, of course.

Go ahead! The more people are aware of these problems, hopefully the quicker writers stop diving headfirst into doing them. Thanks for asking!